Bejing Claims It Is Designed To Fight Extremism
Approximately one million Muslims are detained in Chinese indoctrination camps where they routinely undergo mental and physical torture. These camps are set up in Xinjiang, a province in the western part of China. The region is known for its separatist movements. Details of these secretive camps are now leaking out after a few former inmates approached the media to narrate the pain they went through. Two ex-inmates- Kayrat Samarkand and Omir Bekali- have spoken out after their relatives were sucked in by Chinese security and pushed inside those camps. They fear for their relative’s lives.
Both Samarkand and Bekali said what many other former prisoners said about those camps. Detainees are forced to consume alcohol and pork to make them less Muslim. Both of them are forbidden in Islam. Not only food, the detainees in such indoctrination camps have to repeatedly disavow Islamic beliefs. They also must give thanks to the ruling Communist Party. Things are so bad that an American commission has described the program as the biggest mass incarceration of a minority population in the status quo.
The aim of the internment program is to rewrite the detainee’s political thinking. Islamic beliefs are to erased from consciousness and their identities reshaped. When asked, Chinese officials defended this measures saying that changes in ideology are a must to combat Islamic extremism and win against separatism. History is bloody when it comes to China and its relation to militant Islam. Hundreds of Chinese were killed by radical Muslim Uighurs in recent history.
The program is characteristic of the President Xi Jinping’s increased nationalistic and heightened state security apparatus. Part of its core philosophy is taken from the ancient Chinese thought of transforming oneself through education. Such activity is not new. The Chinese leader Mao Zedong implemented these kinds of philosophies in his terrifying thought reform campaigns. Historians like James Millward of Georgetown University believe that Beijing is now trying the process of cultural cleansing to find an effective solution to end extremist activity in Xinjiang.
Inmates are subjected to a relentless routine engineered to change their thought processes. A typical inmate in the prison stays in a dormitory with about 14 other people. The guards search the room every morning. The day starts with two full hours of study on subjects tailored to glorify the present Chinese Government. They also sing a number of communist songs.